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Maverick filmmaker Robert Altman continued a stunning run of celebrated work that included McCabe and Mrs Miller, The Long Goodbye and Nashville with 3 Women, a dreamy masterpiece that would fend off the titanic Star Wars as Roger Ebert s best film of 1977.

Shy and impressionable Pinky (Sissy Spacek, Badlands, Carrie) strikes up a friendship with her fellow nurse Thoroughly Modern Millie (Shelley Duvall, Nashville, Thieves Like Us). As the two spend more time together Pinky becomes dependent on Millie, adopting aspects of her personality and appearance. Things take an unusual and darker turn as Pinky discovers Millie with a man, a local bar owner whose wife (Janice Rule) forms the third of the title s three women.

Based on a series of dreams and influenced by Ingmar Bergman s Persona, Robert Altman famously cut the deal for 3 Women with 20th Century Fox in a matter of minutes and the remarkable faith of the studio would produce one of the most striking works of the period.
[Taken from the Arrow Synopsis]

 Three Women

Video


The almost viewed through a veil of grain opening to this film initially had me concerned for the quality of the presentation but it soon improves and provides a richly detailed, clean image that really shows of this 4 Restoration. Sure the film clearly shows its age but this Blu-ray release is doing everything right to make this feel fresh and clean.

Warm lighting generates a whole lot of crisp detail, textures and and skin blemishes or in Spacek's case freckles look natural and celebrated and even though the film isn't scared of travelling in and out of shade the shadowing is used well and it really enables the colour of the film to come through.

It's not the most colourful of films initially but bright costumes, the the odd loaction really reaches out of the screen and the odd patch of bright blue sky sells the film's temperature and warmth at times. Black levels are pretty solid, though not always pure black but it does not diminish the style of the film at all and the results here as pretty great.

 Three Women

Audio


Dialogue is consistently clear and the rather imposing score, that is often the lone generator of the film's mood sounds crisp and strong throughout. The flute elements of it are particularly strong but there's an underlining power to it that far outreaches it's mono limitations.

Beyond those two elements the film is largely quiet and calm. The steady, real world mood doesn't really call for anything particularly showy so this track ends up being a natural, simple affair with some clean dialogue and a score that feels rather odd at times but sounds very good.

 Three Women

Extras


'Shelly Duvall Interview' (05:45 HD) This 1977 interview has the actress talks about the film and the scenes she wrote for the film and attempts to explain her character and the film itself.

'David Thompson on Three Women' (37:07 HD) is a great indepth piece on on Altman's career through television and film. He discusses the director's style, his attitude and his highlights after M*A*S*H became a hit.Of course this all leads to Three Women, that apparantly was based on a dream of sorts.

The galleries feature behind-the-scenes photos, the Cannes Film Festival press conference and promotional images and lastly there's the Trailer, a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Nathanael Marsh and a booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic David Jenkins and excerpts from Altman on Altman, illustrated with original stills

 Three Women

Overall


Three Women is a calm, often odd feeling drama that focuses on its characters almost maticulously and has a real sense of realism and personal drama rather than a big adventure. The three leads are fantastic and are all equally unique in their performances and are really the big hook to what makes this such an easy watch, despite its slow pace and breezy approach.

Fans of the film and even newcomers should be pretty pleased with the A/V presentaton here and there's a nice slice of extras, so once again Arrow bring us a smaller title that outguns many of the more mainstream catalogue titles.
 Three Women
 Three Women


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